Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Phillies finally get back to .500


ddeitch@delcotimes.com, @DennisDeitch

PHILADELPHIA -- This isn't going to be easy.

Yes, the Phillies have been playing their best baseball since the All-Star break, and their best keeps getting better as the weeks pass. And yes, the St. Louis Cardinals are tripping over themselves with intriguing frequency.

This, however, will be a complicated surgery the Phillies attempt in these final weeks. Whittling away a 14-game deficit in the second half of a baseball season is no lunchtime liposuction. It's a heart transplant.

Life seemed simple enough for much of Tuesday night's game against the Marlins. Roy Halladay had a 3-run lead after one inning, a 5-run lead after six.

Instead, Miami started to hit balls through holes in the infield, including the one between Chase Utley's legs. And after three relievers and much perspiring in the seventh inning, that big lead was back to one.

That was just the beginning of the sweat. It wasn't until the Phils got through a tightrope eighth inning and a strong closing effort by Jonathan Papelbon that they could enjoy a 9-7 win, their sixth straight to tie a season high.


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